Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Posts Tagged ‘archaeology

Ica Stones Revisited

with 8 comments

Due to popular demand, here is a more comprehensive post on the Ica Stones, the one I mentioned briefly in a prior post.  And I can say right off the bat, I can’t prove that all of the Ica stones are a hoax. And I’m not even going to try. In fact with artifacts like this it’s up to the proponents of the “Ica stones are genuine” theory to prove their case. Nonetheless I can discuss any number of things about the stones, I’ve given them a  bit of thought now and looked into what is available on line about them.  And, frankly, I’m still pretty skeptical. Here is my thinking.

As I mentioned in the prior post, the first stumbling block is provenance. This is a major stumbling block, and in fact is an illustration of my “Number one rule of hoax detection.” To whit, if the key piece of evidence that would prove or disprove an artifact or photograph is real is missing, it’s probably a  fake. The classic is old film photographs of UFOs/Bigfoot/Nessie etc where “the negative got lost.” Convenient at the very least, since without a negative to example, a film photograph is largely useless as evidence. And with the Ica stones, until the location where they were found is revealed, the stones themselves have very limited evidentiary value.

And an obvious question here is, why the secrecy? If the site where these stones were found is real, it would be a profoundly important archaeological site. The money generated by curious and scientific tourists would be a gold mine locally and nationally. Yet the Peruvian government and the locals are apparently happy having the stones labelled as  a hoax instead of cashing in on the big money?

Then as I mentioned before, we have the dinosaur depictions on the stones:

Um, these are classic media depictions of popular dinosaurs from the era the stones were likely carved, the nineteen sixties. Dinosaurs that didn’t live in South America, are separated my vast eons of time, and inaccurately portrayed in many details. Though they do faithfully portray what one would see in depictions of dinosaurs in comic books and magazines. Dinosaurs that actually lived in south America? They appear to be conspicuously absent from the Ica Stones.

Another thing that’s conspicuously absent is writing. Thousands of stones with crude drawings on them, but not a single line of text or math? They supposedly portray an advanced civilization, but one without a written language? Of course any sort of text would be easy meat for scholars to examine and prove or disprove the stone’s authenticity. Again, this isn’t proof of anything, but it’s another convenient omission.

Then there’s the similarity to some of the Nazca line drawings. Since images of the Nazca lines were commonly available in the nineteen sixties, I don’t see how they can be cited as proof of anything one way or the other. And there are no depictions of dinosaurs in the Nazca lines, nor have any Ica type stones been found in Nazca archaeological sites. In fact the only record and source we have for the Ica stones is the mysterious cave. A cave that archaeologists have begged to be allowed to see, and even offered to be blindfolded to and fro  so they can’t reveal its location. No dice. Yes, old records do speak of “carved stones” being found by the early Spanish explorers. Not only have none of these survived, we don’t even have a description of any of them, so that’s no help.

It should also be mentioned that these stones are apparently the only surviving relic of this putative advanced civilization. No ruins, other artifacts, anything. All they left us was a whole pile of not terribly illuminating amateurishly engraved stones. I don’t think I’m going out on a limb here to say that far and away the simplest explanation is the stones were carved by a farmer and his wife because a gullible doctor would buy them in any quantity they could come up with. As the farmer said when interviewed about how he made the stones (he used a dental drill,) it was a lot easier than farming for a  living. It was a lot more fun too I bet.

So there’s no “smoking gun” that proves the Ica Stones are fake. There are however a whole bunch of reasons to doubt that these are anything other than fakes. And a whole lot of assumptions have to be made to explain away the problems I mentioned above. Maybe someday the secret cave will be revealed, or obvious Ica Stones with dinosaur and other anachronistic drawings will be discovered in a controlled archaeological site. Until then, the idea that the Ica Stones prove anything, let alone prove that dinosaurs coexisted with humans or that there is a lost advanced civilization in Peru, doesn’t hold much weight in my book.

I would be glad to be proved wrong, but I read a lot of pro Ica Stone web sites and was underwhelmed by the arguments presented there.

(The above stegosaurus image is reproduced legally: I, the copyright holder of this work, hereby publish it under the following licenses:

GNU head Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled “GNU Free Documentation License“.

The second image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. If it is an ancient carving, then the copyright is long expired. If it’s not, well, if anyone knows who to attribute it to, I will gladly do so. Note the stegosaurus above is not dragging its tail. No dinosaurs dragged their tails. I rest my case.)

Written by unitedcats

July 7, 2010 at 6:06 pm

Posted in History, Paranormal

Tagged with , ,